Stephen Gibbons, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON:
Cindy Seeley Hendrickson, Deputy District Attorney
(408) 792-2551   For release on April 20, 2006   CAREGIVER TO BE SENTENCED FRIDAY MORNING ON CHARGES THAT SHE BILKED ELDERLY VICTIM OUT OF NEARLY $80,000.00   On Friday April 21, 2006, Hiraina Mosonia Mapa, 32, of Sunnyvale will be sentenced on charges of elder financial abuse and forgery for embezzling nearly $80,000.00 from Charmaine Wheatley, 77, the mother of former assistant police chief Tom Wheatley and the widow of a former San Jose Police Officer. Mapa was employed as a live-in caregiver for Mrs. Wheatley since July 2003. Mrs. Wheatley, who is legally blind, had trusted Mapa to help pay her bills. Unbeknownst to Mrs. Wheatley, the defendant was writing checks to herself on Mrs. Wheatley’s account, and in many instances even signing Mrs. Wheatley’s name, all without Mrs. Wheatley’s knowledge or permission. Mrs. Wheatley only discovered the loss after going to the bank on an unrelated matter and learning for the first time that unauthorized checks had been written on her account.   The defendant could have been sentenced to up to 5 years 8 months for the charges against her, but under the plea agreement she will serve no more than 2 years in the state prison. 
The victim’s family and the investigating officer are disappointed that one of the victim’s banks, World Savings, is not reimbursing the victim for any portion of the loss. Though the Uniform Commercial Code allows customers up to one year to recover in instances of forgery, many banks, including World Savings, attempt to limit by contract the reporting period to within 30 days of the first forged check.   # # #  

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